SINGLES DESERVE AFFORDABLE HOUSING
These thoughts are purely the blunt, no nonsense personal opinions of the author and are not intended to provide personal or financial advice.
(This opinion letter was published in a local newspaper on April 13, 2016)
The Calgary Herald April 9, 2016 article “Thinking inside the box” is an enlightening article on the financial plight of singles in regards to affordable housing.
This article describes how a San Francisco man has created a private sleeping space in the living room of an apartment he shares with other roommates. He sleeps in a wooden box that is eight feet long, four and a half feet tall and probably about five or six feet wide. Inside this box is a twin bed, a fold-up desk and some LED lights. A fan and built-in ventilation help air travel through. He has spent $1300 for materials. He is also working on fully soundproofing its walls. One wonders what the owner of apartment thinks of this ‘renovation’.
This man apparently is gainfully employed as a freelance illustrator whose work has appeared in the New Yorker. To his credit and frugality, he has a positive attitude and readily admits he is not in dire financial straits, but has developed the box as a creative solution so that he can have a ‘private’ bedroom rather than sleeping on the couch.
In San Francisco where affordable housing is futile, one-bedroom apartments rent for median of $3,670 per month. The article states that his roommates live in conventional bedrooms paying about $1,000 per month. He pays $400 and has full access to the amenities of the apartment. He calls his bedroom space a ‘pod’. Total number of bedrooms in this apartment are not stated.
The housing situation for singles in Canada is no better. High-rise condos in Toronto average about $455,000. Going rental price for one-bedroom condos in local town appears to be $1,300.
It appears that desired results have been achieved for what married/coupled persons and families think are appropriate for singles. Singles can now sleep in spaces that are less than one hundred square feet in size. It seems these same people no longer consider singles to be their children or part of the family. Instead, the state of business has overtaken the value of family to the point of unadulterated greed.
Singles deserve better in affordable housing solutions. When they talk to government, decision makers and families about lack of affordable housing, they are met with anger, shunning and deaf ears. They are given the response that it is ‘what the market can bear’.
Every adult with marital status of being single deserves a living wage and a dignified place to live that is equal to adults in families. Every adult with marital status of being single deserves to be included in financial formulas that are equal in benefits to adults in families. Every adult with marital status of being single and and part of a family unit deserves to be treated with same financial dignity and respect as married/coupled children of the family unit.
Singles are continually told by married/coupled persons and families that they can move in with someone else if they have financial constraints.
What is most ironic with the publication of this opinion letter is that another opinion letter was published on this same date in this same newspaper by the owner of a condo villa (which is much larger in square footage) discussing how owners need to be careful about reviewing contract details when purchasing. Examples are sodding versus ‘naturescaping’, mulch or rocks and liabilities of people falling or using skateboards on sidewalks which are the private property of the condo.
While these are valid concerns, the juxtaposition of singles deserving affordable housing versus owners of expensive large condo villas is striking.
Postscript added May 25, 2016 – There can be no doubt that there is a housing crises for Canadian singles and the poor when information such as the following is published in local media and newspapers: ‘A shortage of affordable housing is partially to blame for a number of ads offering discounted or free rent in exchange for sex, an advocate says’. (affordable-housing-behind-some-sex-for-rent-schemes)
This blog is of a general nature about financial discrimination of individuals/singles. It is not intended to provide personal or financial advice.